You are currently browsing posts tagged with Malaysians
In December 2007, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 32 year-old Malaysian Muslim woman, was at a hotel bar in the beach town of Cherating and had a beer.
She was busted by Islamic enforcement officers, because Malaysia has a dual law system, and Muslims are subject to not only federal law but to sharia (syariah), or Islamic religious law, and according to the latter, it’s illegal to drink. She was then handed a caning sentence by the religious court last month.
After both an international and domestic outcry over the severity of this punishment–Malaysia wants to present itself as a “moderate” Islamic nation and Kartika would be the first woman to be caned under sharia law–the religious court decided to halt the caning and review their decision. But Monday, an appeals panel upheld the decision, and the caning of the married mother of two will be carried out after Ramadan.
One fascinating aspect of this legal case is Kartika’s decision not to appeal her sentence. Malaysia’s own Prime Minister, Najib Razak, urged her to appeal back in August, presumably to avoid international embarrassment. But Kartika refused. On what grounds depends on what source you believe.
“I feel ashamed of myself for showing disrespect to my own religion. I want to respect (the court’s) decision and go through the punishment…I respect the law and Islam. Even before the sentence was passed in court, I had already made up my mind to accept the punishment and go through the ordeal,” she said.
International news agency AFP had a radically different spin on the matter, however:
Kartika, a part-time model and mother-of-two, has stared down religious authorities by refusing to appeal against her sentence, and challenging them to cane her in public.
So what cause is Kartika a martyr for (in the colloquial and not the crazazy extremist sense)? Islam or human rights? It’s hard to say, but one thing’s for sure–accepting being caned for drinking a beer on whatever grounds is some Hardass Asian shit right there.
Here’s the story on the lady pictured below, Mek Wok Kundor:
- She’s Malaysian.
- She’s 107 years old.
- She has been married 22 times (so far).
- She doesn’t kiss and tell–Kundor won’t talk about her former husbands (whom she has lost to both death and divorce) or her kids.
- She is currently estranged from her husband (#22), who is 37.
- She separated from the 37-year-old dude because he had to go into rehab.
- Worried that he may return from rehab sober and itchin’ for a younger chick, Kundor has her sights set on a man 57 years her junior–a potential husband #23.
- She plans to visit her hubby (Possible reconnection?) in rehab, which is in Kuala Lumpur. She just needs a ride.
- I couldn’t possibly make this up.
- Something tells me (maybe it’s the dozens of hubbies, love of younger dudes, and certainty that she’ll soon find a brand new lover) that Mek Wok Kundor is an incredible lay. You may not like to read that, and I may not like to write it, but neither of us can deny that it’s probably true.
- Add it all up, and this bitch is the sexiest, baddest bitch in the East! Don’t hate a player!!
If Lady Day had been raised on a Southeast Asian island and was making pop music in the year 2009, she’d probably sound a lot like Malaysian singer-songwriter Zee Avi.
On her self-titled debut, which came out last month, Zee’s voice is pure jazz, rich and mouthy, set against catchy, acoustic, pop melodies strummed on the guitar and ukulele about love gone awry. The 23 year-old describes her music as “pretty dark,” but it’s also playful and lovely to listen to. So it’s more like if Lady Day had been raised on a Southeast Asian island and was making pop music in the year 2009 AND was taking meds to manage her outsized melancholy. Sad and blue, but sweet and sunny, too, all at once.
To order Zee Avi’s debut record, click here.